Tag Archives: Zipline

UAV225 DARPA Gremlins

DARPA Gremlins advance reusable drone technology, North Carolina plans UAS workshops for public safety agencies, Seaglider underwater drones set to explore Antarctic ice shelves, fuel cell propulsion systems will be integrated into the ScanEagle, and medical package delivery drones are successful in Africa.

DARPA Gremlins launched from a C-130.

DARPA Gremlins launched from a C-130. DARPA image.

UAV News

Air Force Could Test “Flying Aircraft Carriers” as Early as Next Year

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Gremlins program envisions small, reusable drones that can be launched from a C-130 inflight to surveil or attack targets as much as 300 miles away. The Gremlins then return to their flying airbase and are flown back to home base where there are prepared for their next mission.

In Phase 2, DARPA will review Gremlin prototypes from Dynetics and General Atomics. In Phase 3 DARPA will select one of the two prototypes for a “full-scale technology demonstration system” that will be test-flown in 2019.

North Carolina government plans drone workshops for 2018

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning free UAS/Drone workshops for public safety agencies. The purpose of the workshops is to educate agencies on the safe and beneficial uses of drones, provide updates on the latest federal and state regulations, and provide best practices for safe operations and data management. The Operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in North Carolina web page contains a downloadable 47-page safety guide [PDF] and an online knowledge test.

Drones Are Diving Under Antarctic Ice to Map Unseen Portions of Our World

The University of Washington in Seattle is planning to use seven underwater robots to explore an Antarctic ice shelf. Three Seaglider self-propelled drones “swim” by adjusting their buoyancy and using mechanic “wings.” The Seaglider Fabrication Center, a division of the School of Oceanography in the College of the Environment, provides Deepgliders™, Seagliders™, operator training, and glider refurbishment. Under a license agreement with Kongsberg Underwater Technologies, Inc. (KUTI), the University can only produce Seagliders for customers inside the University of Washington.

Earth Under Water is a 45 minute National Geographic program that looks at the worldwide rise in sea levels.

Drone Operator Sues Blackhawk Pilot for Destroying Drone over Staten Island

Maybe. The Aviation Acorn treads a bit into the realm of The Onion.

Ballard, Insitu partner on UAS fuel cell propulsion system

Ballard Power Systems is working with Insitu to develop a next-generation fuel cell propulsion system for the ScanEagle UAS. The 1.3-kilowatt system for small unmanned fixed-wing and vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) drones will be integrated into the ScanEagle platform.

‘Uber for blood’: how Rwandan delivery robots are saving lives

As an update to our report in Episode 146 about medical package delivery in Rwanda, we see that the Rwandan health ministry has delivered more than 5,500 units of blood over the past year using Zipline drones. Delivery times to remote regions of Rwanda have been cut from four hours to an average of half an hour. Now Zipline plans to launch what it claims is the world’s largest drone delivery network, working with the government of Tanzania.

UAV Video of the Week

Zipline

This video shows how medical package deliveries with Zipline drones save lives in Rwanda.

 

 

 

UAV146 The FAA Creates, Permits, and Rescinds

The FAA created an advisory committee, permits educational institutions to fly UAS, and rescinded a proposed website for collecting reports of bad drone behaviour. UPS and Zipline partner for drone delivery of medical packages, and more interviews from the Drone Dealer Expo.

Zipline International

Zipline International medical package delivery drone

News

FAA Administrator Makes Major Drone Announcements

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta made two significant announcements at the AUVSI annual conference in New Orleans. Another advisory committee is being formed to provide advice on unmanned aircraft integration issues. Huerta said, “Input from stakeholders is critical to our ability to achieve that perfect balance between integration and safety. We know that our policies and overall regulation of this segment of aviation will be more successful if we have the backing of a strong, diverse coalition.”

Huerta also announced that students can operate UAS for educational and research purposes without going through the Section 333 process. This allows educational institutions to conduct activities that have been restricted in the past.

UPS-backed Rwandan blood deliveries show drones’ promise, hurdles

The UPS Foundation announced a partnership with Zipline, a California­-based robotics company, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to “explore using drones to transform the way life-saving medicines like blood and vaccines are delivered across the world.” The UPS Foundation has awarded an $800,000 grant to support the initial launch of this initiative in Rwanda using Zipline fixed-wing drones.

Zipline International, Inc. is a robotics company that works with governments to provide access to medical products at the last mile. Zipline is supported by investors such as Sequoia Capital, Google Ventures, SV Angel, Subtraction Capital, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and Stanford University.

UPDATE: FAA Withdraws Request for Drone Reports Dubbed Witchhunt By Many

Congress has directed the FAA to “assess the flight behavior of [drones] and enable the reporting of [drone] sightings that cause public concern for safety, national security, and/or privacy.” In response, the FAA planned to launch a website to collect “airborne and ground based observations by the public of drone behavior that they consider suspicious or illegal.”

Now, however, the FAA has withdrawn the plan [PDF], citing that the proposal “contained errors, and needs further clarification.”

Drone Dealer Expo Interviews

More interviews by Tim Trott of Southern Helicam from the Expo:

David Alamillo, Chief Pilot and Flight Operations Manager, Farm Solutions, which manages sensor output for agricultural applications, and integrates with drone manufacturers

Mark Manson, Consumer Experience Lead for Academy of Model Aeronautics

Videos of the Week

Max and @dronemama Fly Away Dronie

This “fly away dronie” of Max Flight and @dronemama was taken by Hover Solutions, LLC at the 2016 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival at the Howard County Fairgrounds, West Friendship, Maryland. Hover Solutions was at the Festival with their DJI Inspire 1 to film the festival for the organizers.

Hover Solutions provides aerial photography and video for clients, UAV education, and industrial applications such as orthomosaic mapping and multisensor scanning services, including 3D modeling and NDVI overlays.

Hover Solutions will be exhibiting at the 2016 Howard County Fair, August 6-13, 2016, at the Howard County Fairground in West Friendship, Maryland. They’ll have a booth next to the main building. Stop by and say hello!

Clash of epochs: Drone speared at history festival in central Russia

A drone that was filming a historical reenactment in Russia was taken down by a spear thrown by a man dressed as an ancient Russian warrior. How often do you see that?